#BuyBlack This Holiday Season to Help the Businesses Hit Hardest by COVID: Sheryl Sandberg and Ron Busby

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Alfonso Wright can trace his love of tea back to his childhood in Brooklyn, when he would bring his mother a cup every morning from the age of 3. He became fascinated with the distinctive aromas and tastes, and has travelled the world exploring the importance tea holds in different cultures. When he met his wife, Jamila McGill, in 2014, their dates often involved “tea-hopping” between tea shops across New York City, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. Three years later they started a business together—the Brooklyn Tea Company—and opened a shop near where Alfonso grew up and where Jamila had worked as a teacher.

The business grew as New Yorkers developed a taste for Alfonso and Jamila’s exotic flavors—until the pandemic hit. COVID-19 turned their bustling storefront into an empty lot. Between March and May, their revenue fell dramatically and they feared for the tea company’s future. Unable to serve customers in person, they focused their efforts online instead, creating a virtual store and using Facebook and Instagram to reach potential customers. They sold specially created gift boxes filled with teas known for their health benefits, while using their spare time to…


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